Hendrix was one in a sea of people in line waiting to receive food assistance from The Potters House the morning of Saturday, June 26 during the Jonesville church's June food distribution event which was held at Tabernacle Baptist Church in Union.
Potters House pastor Don Moore reported Monday the June event lived up to all expectations as the largest distribution since the program began last fall with 702 families coming to receive much needed assistance.
That’s more than 2,000 people The Potters House gave food to on Saturday.
“We just had so many people,” Moore said.
"This church is doing a lot to help," Hendrix said. "And we really appreciate their help. There's a light at the end of the tunnel yet."
"It's a godsend," said Pollie Robinson of Jonesville about the church's food program that helps people in and around Union County get much needed assistance.
"I think it's awesome," added Miriam Millwood of Jonesville who also was one of the many waiting in line to receive food. "God sent us this . . . God sent us The Potters House."
Moore said he arrived at Tabernacle on Saturday around 6 a.m. and people already were waiting in line to receive food. Most started coming around 7:30 a.m. and by 9 a.m. — when registration began — the Union church's parking lot was full with several others parking in different locations nearby.
"You just about name it and it's here," Moore said about the food and other items the church distributed. "We have got way over 30,000 pounds of stuff."
Distribution was originally set to begin promptly at 9 a.m. along with registration but Moore said volunteers started filling boxes and giving them out earlier to beat the heat.
Despite the heat, however, the pastor said everything Saturday was a success.
“I think it went real well,” Moore said.
He knew there would be a large number of people — both new faces and others who had come to previous distribution events — but was surprised at just how many families came out Saturday to receive food assistance because of the heat.
But the number proves — while the pastor hopes conditions are improving for families in and around Union County — the need for food assistance is still ever present.
Volunteers were glad to help serve those people in need even if all of them were sweating and working for no pay.
“We’re doing a lot of work here for free,” said Art Owens as he filled boxes with food Saturday morning. “But it’s one of those things you know you ought to be doing because people need help.”
Rhonda Owens agreed.
“It’s a pretty neat thing,” she said as she put the last can of food in a box and sent it along the conveyor belt to another station.
Moore thanked all of the volunteers who helped out with Saturday’s event — the first to be held at a Union location with the hopes of reaching people the ministry had not before. He also wanted to send special thanks to Tabernacle Baptist Church for all it did to help the event and to Bobby Lee who went to pick up the tractor-trailer of food in Spartanburg on Saturday morning and then returned it later that afternoon.
“That was a real blessing,” Moore said.
The pastor also thanked the Dollar General stores in Union, Monarch and Jonesville for the donations they collected for this month’s distribution.
Moore said the congregation at The Potters House was re-energized about the food distribution ministry after Saturday’s event.
“By Sunday morning, everybody at the church was excited again by what we were able to do with all the help,” the pastor said. “Everything came together. I think it was just a good, all-around day.”
The Potters House gave away all of the food it had Saturday, including much of what was stored in its food bank at the church building in Jonesville.
“We’re cleaned out,” Moore said.
So now it’s time to build up the stores again.
The pastor knows the community will come through — as it has in the past — to help its friends, family and neighbors who are in need of food assistance.
Proof came in an unexpected way on Saturday.
Moore said he had about three people who drove by the Tabernacle parking lot that morning and saw what was going on. Upon seeing the line of people, each of them went home, packed up boxes of food from their own cupboards and brought them back as donations to the distribution program.
Those donations offered a metaphorical relief to Saturday’s heat and showed Moore that people will come through when help is needed.
“That was real cool,” the pastor said.
LEND A HAND:
If you would like to help replenish The Potters House food banks or donate funds so distribution programs like that on Saturday can continue, contact pastor Don Moore at (864) 680-3465 to find out how.